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About Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

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Genre: Action | Publisher: Devolver Digital | Platform: PC
Vibrant neon and pastel colors mixed with a heavy dose of ultra-violence and a killer soundtrack: these are the base ingredients of Dennaton Games’ follow up to their indie darling Hotline Miami. Published by Devolver Digital, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is a 2D top-down action game where the player is tasked with eliminating all enemies in each level while carefully evading their own death. With thirteen playable characters each with their own playstyle, thanks in large part to the return of the Mask Mechanic, a tremendous techno soundtrack and a score multiplier tempting you to keep killing without pause, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number offers a myriad of choices for its magnificent mayhem.

The game is available on PC, as well as being a cross-buy title across PS3, PS4, and PSVita

Core Challenges: Death at Every Turn

Hotline Miami 2 is not for the faint of heart: While this does reference the extreme violence depicted throughout the epic, the truly daunting element of this game is your inevitable death. Each stage tasks the player with killing all the enemies throughout the level, which seems easy enough. However, the game revolves around quick twitch-shooter gameplay (think twin stick shooter on crack) and while enemies can be felled with one shot or hit from a weapon, the same goes for the player’s character. Enemies lurk around every corner, in every room, scattered throughout the levels. As a top-down game, the camera is fixed around your character from a birds eye view, meaning an unknown enemy may be just off the edge of the screen with a surprise shotgun. Level memorization may be required to get through with a good score.

What We Like About It: Neon, Synth, and Masks=PARTY TIME

The difficulty may sound infuriating, and at times it is, but the various character specific abilities, the sweet synth soundtrack, and the allure of a high score make each level restart a necessity rather than a nuisance. 

1. The Music of Mayhem
As mentioned above, you will die in this game: a lot. But you will keep coming back. This is due to the game’s tremendous soundtrack, as it cannot be stated enough how stellar this soundtrack is. With more than double the tracks than the original game, each level of Hotline Miami 2 has a specific beat and rhythm. Got killed by an enemy? Hit restart and keep moving with the music. The effect is that of an almost hypnotic trance, making levels seem more like violent retro fever dreams than anything else. Without the sound, this game has no fury.

2. Just Keep Killing
The music may be what keeps you from giving up, but the high scores in Hotline Miami 2 are what will bring you back. Each kill gives you points. Fair enough. But string kills together and watch the score multiplier in the top right of the screen go up and up. It is one thing to beat the game, and another thing entirely to get an A+ score rank for each stage

3. Masks and the People that Wear Them
In Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number there are thirteen playable characters to choose from depending on which stage you are playing, with each character possessing a unique play style. For example, Tony can’t pick up weapons but can one hit kill with his fists, Corey can roll and dodge under gunfire, Alex and Ash use a chainsaw and a gun (the chainsaw guy is in front), and Mark starts levels dual wielding sub-machine guns and can spread his arms to shoot to both his right and left simultaneously. Each play style is represented by a mask chosen at the beginning of each stage, allowing for the player to mix and match depending on level layouts or personal preference.

The Story of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

The game takes place after the events of the first game, in Miami in the early 90s. Following a large and varied cast, ranging from a group of Fans (copycat killers of the first games characters), to a deranged homicide detective, the son of the Russian Mafia, and even a pacifist writer, there are a slew of plotlines overlapping throughout the game. The Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number game also occasionally brings us back into the 80s, unearthing more of the intrigue started by its predecessor. Using the masks and the various weapons found in each level, the player can shoot, throw, bludgeon, stab and slice their way through each level, learning each characters fate along the way. 

Top Questions About Hotline Miami

What is Hard Mode? 
In Hotline Miami 2, hard mode is unlocked after completing the game for the first time. This mode mirrors level layouts, adds more enemies, and removes the ability to lock on to the enemy nearest your cursor.

How do I get a better high score? 
There are many factors in acquiring a high score on any Hotline Miami stage. However, weapon variety, speed, stealth killing, and kills in quick succession should do the trick.

Is there a secret ending? 
The first Hotline Miami had a hard to crack secret ending that made replaying the game a must for those that wanted to know as much as possible about the Drive inspired neon world created by Dennaton. Hotline Miami 2 has no secret ending: people assumed there must be one because of the added Hard Mode, but the ending doesn’t change: just how many people must be killed to get there.

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